The evolution of Tom Brady through 12 underrated performances


For a while, four games into the 2014 season, it looked like Tom Brady’s Patriots career was coming to an end.

The team got off to a bad 2-2 start, and to make matters worse, rookie QB Jimmy Garoppolo, a second-round pick in that year’s draft, played well in garbage time during the 41-bombing. 14 of the Kansas City Chiefs. Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium on national television in Week 4.

You know what comes next.

“Road to Cincinnati,” AFC Divisional playoff win over Baltimore, Malcolm Butler and Super Bowl 49, 28-3 in Super Bowl 51, Super Bows 52 and 53, then Brady’s two-season run in Tampa Bay where he came out on top of his game.

With the rise of Twitter and other social media channels into our daily lives in the mid-2010s, Brady’s historic run from 2014 is still widely discussed, and social media posts about the NFL, Patriots and other Twitter accounts come back to these games quite often.

The purpose of this piece, then, was to uncover a few Brady plays you might have overlooked that help tell the story of his rise to the greatest quarterback of all time.

One game that stood out in 2014 was Brady’s last loss as a full game starter that season. A 26-21 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Brady fought back and forth with Rodgers on the frozen tundra, hitting Brandon LaFell for two impressive touchdown throws, before Rodgers finally missed time in New England with a first pitch that sent Brady into a frenzy of swearing on the sideline.

Tom Brady vents his frustration near the end of a 26-21 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in 2014 (NFL on CBS/SB Nation)

The loss showed Brady’s fiery, competitive edge that fueled him throughout his career, including the rest of that 2014 season, and all that much-discussed success that followed.

After this game, Brady would face Rodgers three more times, and Brady would win all three contests, including the 2020 NFC Championship Game in Green Bay when Brady was a member of the Bucs.

Brady won just two of his seven Super Bowl rings from the period discussed in this article from 2003 to the end of 2014. But those years, with all those wins and losses, helped set the stage for the greatest act of career end of this sport, or possible any team sport in North America, has ever seen.


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